EghtesadOnline: Iran's crude oil prices settled around 25% higher in March compared to the same period the previous year, drawing support from a global pact to scale back production to prop up prices.
Iran Heavy, which makes up most of the country's oil shipments, traded at $48.64 a barrel on the week to March 24, up from $34.18 around the same period last year. The country's light crude gained more than $14 a barrel year-on-year, settling at $47.96 in the week, Shana reported on Wednesday, citing a report by the Oil Ministry.
According to OPEC's latest monthly report, Iran's heavy grade traded at $53.16 in February, posting an average of $52.51 per barrel in 2017.
Brent, the international benchmark, was trading near $55 a barrel on Wednesday, more than $15 above the levels before members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced a deal in late November to cut supplies by 1.2 million barrels per day over the first half of this year. Several producers outside the group also came on board in December, pledging to erase nearly 600,000 barrels in daily output, according to Financial Tribune.
The report added that crude and condensate exports have exceeded the 3-million-bpd mark, with Asian and European customers taking in the lion's share of Iranian cargoes.
Iran sits behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq as the third-biggest OPEC producer. Under the oil accord, Tehran was exempt from the cuts because it is recovering from international economic restrictions that stifled its oil market share.
The US Energy Information Administration estimated that Iran’s oil production rose by 20,000 barrels per day to 3.8 million bpd in February—compared to the previous month.
A Reuters' survey showed Iranian output rose by 10,000 barrels per day to 3.77 million bpd in March—compared to the previous month.